Transatlantic Race – First Boats Leave Newport on Sunday

Sunday is the start of the second iteration of this particular Transatlantic Race (First one was in 2011) and the line up of yachts at all 3 of the starts is sure to be a sight.  The race starts at Castle Hill in Newport and stretches some 2,975 miles to the Lizard in England. Historically, there have been many Transatlantic races since the very first one in 1866, with massive schooners taking part, placing wagers for winning and setting records. The Schooner ‘Atlantic’, seen in the painting below, built of steel in 1903 with no hydraulics and just ten crew, set the record for the transatlantic crossing at 12 days, 4 hours and 1 minute. A mono-hull record that would stand for 100 years. Since The Great Race in 1866, there have been 27 transatlantic races. In 2011, Rambler 100 (Video above) set a new with an elapsed time of 6d 22h 08m 2s. (Rambler went on to compete in the Fastnet Race in 2011 where she lost her keel and miraculously everyone survived).

Dorade, the 52′ Sparkman & Stephens yawl, won the race in 1931 and was treated to a champions ticker tape parade down Broadway in NYC. Dorade returns again to seek another ocean crossing victory, and with a spectacular fleet of varied boats preparing to cross the Atlantic Ocean, the competition will be fierce.

We thought, after introducing you to Dorade’s effort to win this race (again) in TBS post from 6/22, that it would be fun to tell you about some of the other amazing boats taking part in this race, but first: some history and background from The Transatlantic Race’s Website:

There are 41 registered entries in the Transatlantic Race 2015 all have one thing in common: they will be undertaking the adventure of a lifetime as they sail a stretch of 2,800 nautical miles from Newport Rhode Island’s Castle Hill Light to The Lizard, the most southerly point on mainland Great Britain.

The Transatlantic Race was last held in 2011, and with 50 percent more entries set to heed the starting cannon fired at Castle Hill, one has to wonder how many of those taking on the challenging race are also heeding American writer Mark Twain’s famous words. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club, the race features three separate starts (June 28, July 1 and July 5) to accommodate the yachts of varying size and abilities, with a primary goal of having all boats arrive in England in close proximity to each other. The smaller vessels will take the first start with the expectation of finishing in 15 to 20 days. The final start will feature the speed demons that are racing to complete the passage in less than six days, 22 hours, eight minutes and two seconds – the record-setting time established by George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011.

Without further ado, Some killer boats to watch:

Photo © Dan Nerney

Photo © Dan Nerney

Carina:  1969 McCurdy & Rhodes 48′ sloop
Owner: A. Rives Potts, Current NYYC Commodore
Boat Facts: Carina won the Newport -Bermuda Race St. David’s Lighthouse trophy 4 times and is the 2015 Winner of Annapolis – Newport Race

Photo by Onne van der Wal

Photo by Onne van der Wal

Comanche:  2014 Verdier-VPLP/Hodgdon 100′ Sloop
Boat Facts: Comanche was built to smash records and while she has come close (2014 Sydney Hobart) in her short life, she will be working hard to beat Rambler 100 who set the record for this crossing. (see below)

1930 Sparkman & Stephens 53′ ketch
Boat Facts: Dorade won the 1931 Transatlantic Race and is out for a repeat of that victory, and other ocean racing records from her storied days of sailing. (See Dorade Blog to follow her)

Mariette of 1915: 1915 Herreshoff 125′ Schooner
Boat Facts: This is Mariette’s 100th Birthday and she is a sight to behold with all her sails flying

2011 MOD70 Trimaran/CDK Technologies
Boat Facts:  This speed machine has just won the Caribbean 600, she set a new around St. Maarten record and is ready for more. Keep your eye on the green machine as she streaks across the Atlantic.  Co-Skipper Brian Thompson, ocean racer.

Rambler 88: 2014 Juan K/New England Boatworks 88′ sloop
Boat Facts: Rambler 100 set the course record in 2011 crossing in just under 7 days. The 100 footer then went on the Fastnet Race, losing her keel and rolling over, all crew survived. He is back for another attempt in a slightly smaller, but hopefully faster boat. Rambler 88 will also stay in the UK for the Fastnet Race, competing against Comanche for line honors.

If you’re near Newport on Sunday (6/28) get out to Castle HIll by land or by boat and watch the first of the 3 classes start for England. It will surely be a sight to behold! With boats old and new, multi and mono hulled and both modern and classic, it is truly a test of some of the greatest yachts in the world. Like Rambler 88, most of the boats will stay abroad to race in the Fastnet Race.

TotalBoat Show is wishing all competitors a fast and safe crossing and we remind you that we sell and deliver to Newport (2x daily!) all things yachting. Safety equipment, rope and rigging materials, Harken and Ronstan hardware and plenty of epoxy, paint and Thixo! Don’t leave port without your Thixo!

Good Luck to all!

RACE TRACKER -Watch the fleet!


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